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BMW 1 Series with M3 4.0-litre V8 conversion (video)

Upset about missing out on the limited edition BMW 1 M Coupe? Someone has thought of a solution; make your own. This BMW 1 Series with an M3 4.0-litre V8 conversion shows that with a bit of initiative and creativity, and money, you can obtain anything.

Built in Egypt, the project started with a BMW 120d. It was then completely stripped down and prepared for a body, suspension, and powertrain overhaul. This included fitting all BMW 1 M Coupe panels, with the fat wheel arches and aggressive front and rear bumper bars.

Underneath the rear, the 1 Series suspension was removed and replaced with M suspension. This also gave the 120d that solid, wide stance of the 1 M Coupe. A set of 19-inch alloy wheels then complete the visuals.

In the engine bay, the stock diesel unit has been replaced with a proper BMW M3 4.0-litre V8 engine. This involved modifying the firewall to accommodate the new unit, as no 1 Series comes from the factory with a V8.

The ECU is carried over from an M3, while the complete wiring harness had to be modified to pair with the 1 Series’s electrical functions, such as the headlights. The engine conversion also required modifications to the drive shaft and exhaust system to suit the shorter 1 Series, compared with an M3.

All up, the project was said to have cost the owner around $45,000, and around eight weeks.

It must be an absolute hoot to drive. Take a look at the videos below outlining the build.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.